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The discourse of broadcast news

Montgomery, M.M. (2006) The discourse of broadcast news. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-35871-X

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Abstract

Journalism has claims to be the most important textual system of modernity because of its continuous and ubiquitous reach, because of the consistency, productivity and relative autonomy of its protocols, and because of the depth of its daily penetration into popular consciousness. In its sheer prevalence as a textual or discursive system it can be considered a knowledge-producing institution as important as science or religion. The central, prototypical output of the journalistic system is news; and its dominant platform at the present time is no longer print, nor yet the world-wide-web, but broadcasting.Most major studies of the news, however, tend to focus on the practices that surround and underpin its production. There have, for example, been important landmark studies of the production structure of radio and television news, including the stop-watch culture of broadcast news journalists (Schlesinger, 1978/1992); important studies of the relations between journalists and their sources and how such factors influence and structure the news (Gans, 1979/2004); and important studies of how news organisations and the professional ideologies of news-workers shape news as a product (Tuchman, 1978). Here, for instance, is how Tuchman begins her classic study, Making News: This book looks at news as a frame, examining how that frame is constituted - how the organisations of newswork and of newsworkers are